Posted by TenantNet on September 17, 1996 at 23:54:43:
In Reply to: Re: No gas; no cooking.... posted by Julian Henkin on September 17, 1996 at 18:54:36:
: Thank you for the reply. This introduces another question...What is a reasonable amount to withold? Can all rent be reasonably witheld? Is there a typical amount for an omission of service such as this? Can a witholding be retroactive to when the problem commenced?
There is no formula for this. Obviously the owner knew of the problem and
unless you saw the owner's hired workman working to restore the heat/hot water
with urgency, you know he was delaying. Usually the tenant rationalizes what
they think the lack of service and inconvenience was worth plus any expenses
(hotel costs?). If the owner is not amenable and if you cannot agree to
an abatement through negotiation, you can withhold rent and the owner has
the option to take you to housing court where a judge might make the decision.
The courts will usually tag a value on the lost services and take innnto consideration other
things you or the owner might raise.
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